One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), the project that aims at putting a sub-$100 laptop in the hands of every child in the world, has issued a statement disassociating itself from its founder Satish Jha, NDTV reports. This statement comes in view of Jha’s recent highly critical views on the Indian government’s Aakash initiative.
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In an opinion piece on Mint and during a recent panel discussion on national television, Jha was openly critical of the government’s Aakash initiative saying, “Anyone who saw and tested Aakash, unless driven by a jaundiced view, simply found it wanting as a product.” Also Read - Happy International Friendship Day 2021: Best tech gifts under Rs 2,000
“Aakash is an embarrassment that India did not have to go through but for want of expertise in developing public policies that may help the poor leapfrog to join the times we live in,” he wrote in the opinion piece. Also Read - Micromax In 2b budget phone set to launch in India today: Expected specs and price
To distance itself from Jha’s aggressive views, OLPC in its statement said, “Satish Jha has not been a part of the organization since July 2012 and that his views on the Aakash tablet were his own.” The organization also went on to praise the Indian government saying, “OLPC supports all efforts and encourages the makers of the Aakash initiative to continue to explore such educational initiatives. Moreover, OLPC applauds the efforts of the Government of India as it continues to examine new and innovative ways to educate the children of India.”
Satish Jha on his part has defended himself through a series of Tweets on his profile saying, “I founded OLPC India in 2008 with the support of OLPC founder Negroponte and don’t work with the sales department of OLPC that issued the statement. It’s an Indian entity and has nothing to do with OLPCA. They claim I represent them when it suits them.”
“I dissociated with OLPCA for it does not have the capability to see beyond its boxes and owes me money it does not have. I support India’s aspiration to create the next generation platform for educating its poor. Not a cheap gimmick that shames us,” he added.